Pope Francis leads the Epiphany mass in Saint Peters Basilica


Pope Francis Thanks Children Who Help Their Peers With Prayer and Sacrifice

Notes World Day of Missionary Childhood

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Pope Francis today thanked children who themselves become missionaries with their prayer and sacrifice.

Noting that the Feast of the Epiphany is the day that the Church marks the World Day of Missionary Childhood, the Pope described it as “the feast of children who, with their prayers and sacrifices, help their neediest contemporaries by becoming missionaries and witnesses of fraternity and sharing.”

In 2008 on this feast, Benedict XVI expressed his gratitude for the work of missionary children, considering some of the history of this celebration.

After praying the Angelus together with those gathered in St. Peter's Square on that day, the German Pontiff said: «For more than 160 years, through the initiative of the French bishop Charles de Forbin Janson, the childhood of Jesus has become the icon for the commitment of Christian children who help the Church in her task of evangelization by prayer, sacrifice and gestures of solidarity.

«Thousands of children meet the needs of other children, driven by the love that the Son of God, become a child, brought to the earth. I say thanks to these little ones and I pray that they will always be missionaries.

«I also thank those who assist them, who accompany them along the road of generosity, of fraternity, of joyous faith that generates hope.»

On ZENIT's Web page:

Full text: http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/angelus-address-jan-6-on-the-magi

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Kathleen Naab

United States

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